Some people are questioning the safety of using commercial toothpaste. What Dr. James Reisman and Dr. Jordana Contrucci, at C R Dental Group, want you to know is that a key ingredient to these is fluoride, which plays a major role in preventing cavities. So, while it’s okay to add a day or two in your week to replace toothpaste with salt, baking soda, or a mixture of both, it’s not a good idea to abandon it altogether.

Considering Sea Salt

There are many trace elements and minerals found in sea salt, such as calcium, magnesium, silicon and iron, to name a few. These help strengthen gums, and protect against tarter and bad breath. Because it is also high in iodine, it provides antibacterial properties that help neutralize acids in the mouth. It also increases saliva, creating an antibacterial barrier that protects the enamel. It can be challenging to actually get sea salt on your toothbrush and to your mouth, however, a saltwater rinse will help with swollen, inflamed gums, thus minimizing gingivitis symptoms.

Adding Baking Soda to Your Routine

Long considered a natural way to brighten teeth, baking soda is gritty enough to clean tarter and plaque from teeth without being so abrasive that it will wear away tooth enamel. Sodium bicarbonate is highly alkaline, and therefore counteracts acids in the mouth which can lead to tooth decay. Like sea salt, it also kills bacteria and germs and combats bad breath. By mixing baking soda and a small amount of water, you can achieve a paste-like consistency to dip your toothbrush in and brush your teeth.

The Proven Benefits of Fluoride

“Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, it’s nature’s cavity fighter. Specific fluoride compounds proven to prevent cavities and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cavity prevention are added to toothpaste in an FDA-approved amount,” Edmond Hewlett, DDS, a professor of restorative dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry, told Healthline. While fluoride-free toothpastes are marketed as being a safer and more effective way to keep your teeth healthy, no other ingredient comes close to the benefits of fluoride. “Seventy years of research proves that it prevents cavities,” he said. “There is no other toothpaste ingredient with this kind of track record. For this reason, dentists have been recommending fluoride toothpaste to their patients for decades.”

Trust Your Dentist and Hygienist

So don’t miss out on the safe and proven benefits of fluoride in your oral healthcare routine. With regular dental visits you are ensuring that you are staying on top of your dental health. Your dentist and hygienist are there for you to help you make sure you are making the best choices for your personal dental needs.